Chad Paronto: “You’ve got incredible hair – we all know that. I’ve heard through the grapevine that you like to wash your hair with assorted berries, lemon juice, and natural rainwater. Is that true?”
Dusty Brown: “Absolutely true. When you’ve got a head of hair like this, you have to take care of it as best as possible. And what better way than natural juices and berries and such.”
–Excerpt from a “Hangin’ with Chad” interview on PawSox.com. You can watch it here.
After spending the first 10 seasons of his pro baseball career in the Boston Red Sox organization, catcher Dusty Brown signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as a minor league free agent last December. So naturally, when I caught up with Dusty recently at spring training, I had to know if the Pirates’ clubhouse had all of the necessary hair products for his flowing locks.
“I’ve been having to go a little bit au naturel,” Brown deadpanned. “They’ve got the Pert Plus assortment going on, but if I happen to make the team, I’ll make sure they take care of that.”
Dusty’s dry sense of humor will be missed in Pawtucket this year – not to mention his playing ability.
Although he had an injury-plagued season in 2010, Brown still earned two call-ups to Boston where he went 3-for-12 (.250) in 7 games. But even though the Red Sox have unproven Jarrod Saltalamacchia slated to be their starting catcher this year, Dusty decided it was time to move on.
“I went with Pittsburgh because it was my best opportunity to make a big league team,” Brown told me. “Really, that was the biggest factor. I had quite a few offers to choose from and I thought this was my best shot.”
Brown was a 35th round draft pick by Boston in 2000 and began playing minor league ball at the age of 19. He spent part of four seasons with the PawSox (2007-10) and made his big league debut with the Red Sox in 2009.
“I’ve really spent all of my adult life with the Red Sox,” Dusty said. “Boston was a first-class organization the whole way and I enjoyed all of my time there. I would have liked to have seen things work out a little differently, but the time that I spent in Boston over the last couple of seasons is something that I’ll never forget, and being able to play at Fenway Park is something that not a lot of guys get to do. Even though my time there is done, I’m glad that I got to experience it.”
Brown is batting .321 this spring and appears to have a legitimate chance to open the season with the Pirates. Chris Snyder is Pittsburgh’s projected starting catcher, and the team is reportedly trying to trade Ryan Doumit. Dusty is battling for a roster spot with Jason Jaramillo.
“It’s a weird situation right now,” Brown said. “They’re not sure how they’re going to make up the bench. They might carry three catchers, they might trade Doumit, so there are a lot of things that might happen between now and the start of the season. It looks like I have a shot and I’m just going to go out and play my best and see how everything falls into place.”
It will be strange not to see Dusty in Pawtucket this year, along with his wife Jordan and their son Jude who was born in July of 2009.
“(Jude) is awesome,” Brown said. “He’s enormous and getting bigger every day. He’s a giant. He might be able to take you in a fight right now…and he’s only 19 months old.”
Like I said, Dusty has a great dry sense of humor.
At least I think he was joking.
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